In what can be seen as another blow to the Audited Media Association of Australia, Bauer Media has pulled out of the audited circulation measurement.
Bauer CEO Nick Chan says the move will align publishers with how other mediums measure traffic and provide advertisers "greater visibility".
“In an increasingly competitive media market we have to focus on the total audience delivery of our brands, rather than a measure which is based only on copy sales," he says.
"This will make our magazines more competitive with other main media such as television, radio and OOH, which is already traded based on the size of audiences."
The AMAA has had a challenging year thus far, with News Corp and Fairfax questioning the metric and Fairfax ultimately removing its digital subscriptions metric. Most recently, Pedestrian TV pulled its figures from the audit, announcing it "outgrew" the service, as well as CarAdvice.
Earlier this year, AdNews reported that Bauer removed Australian Women's Weekly from the audit and referred to the measurement as "redundant" given the site is measured by Nielsen.
Now, it has withdraw its entire portfolio from the AMAA and is investing in Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) in 2017, in addition to the existing readership data it receives to from Roy Morgan.
Bauer CEO Nick Chan says the decision recognises Bauer’s magazine brands attract audiences across multiple channels and the circulation data no longer reflects this total magazine ecosystem.
“The AMAA is a highly effective organisation, but circulation audits do not properly represent how consumers are interacting with our brands across different platforms, nor do they reflect the integrated media discussions we are having with our advertising clients. Connected audiences across multi-media channels is where we see the future of magazine brands in Australia.”
Chan believes by putting more resources into EMMA data, Bauer will benefit advertisers.
"The addition of EMMA and in particular its fusion of Nielsen’s digital audience data, will give advertisers greater visibility on the consumers engaging with our brands," he says.
"In addition to the data from Roy Morgan, we have the most granular view of total magazine brand audiences across print and digital channels."
The AMAA CEO Josanne Ryan has responded to Bauer removing itself from the audit, saying she is "disappointed" in the publisher's decision.
"Accountability and transparency are the hallmark of the AMAA's audit services; audited circulation or distribution for a publication is simply verification of the actual figures. We acknowledge that publishers are producing content across multiple channels and as such print accounts for just one part of their brand audience.
"However, with accountability and transparency a hot topic across the media landscape, the AMAA is disappointed in Bauer's decision to forego providing advertisers and their agencies with the audited data that supports the readership metric. The circulation data continues to be acknowledged as a highly trusted metric by marketers and agencies.
"The AMAA will continue to provide verified, trusted data for its member brands, along with our work across multiple channels and supporting accountability and transparency in the media trading ecosystem."
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at email@example.com